FileMaker 2024 was just released. While the features likely to get the most attention center around AI, many other useful features also deserve notice. In fact, there is so much to cover that it would take a dozen blog posts to give them the coverage they deserve. In this post, we will cover the highlights and look at the big picture.

Continued Investment in the Core Platform

Claris continues to make large investments in the FileMaker product line. The new AI features are game-changers, making it possible to do things in FileMaker that were previously impossible. But there are many other changes as well. FileMaker Pro 24 has 26 new features or enhancements and 74 bug fixes. FileMaker Server 24 has 57 new features or enhancements and 61 bug fixes.

There are several developer quality-of-life improvements–features that make developers’ or server admins’ lives a bit easier. Some older features have been significantly enhanced. There are also several lower-level enhancements that may not be directly used by most FileMaker developers and server administrators, but product developers like us can use them to make their products better. Additionally, there are many bug fixes and stability improvements.

Top 10 Favorites

Although there is something for everyone in this release, here is our top-ten list:


It would be hard to miss the impact of AI, specifically large language models (LLMs), across many industries. Ours is no exception. However, since FileMaker is a database, it is in a unique position to help people leverage their most important asset in the new AI-powered paradigm: their data. One of the technical hurdles right now when it comes to leveraging LLMs for business is the effort, infrastructure, and tooling required to move and maintain the data in external systems so that we create vector embeddings and other data-engineering tasks in order to unlock AI capabilities such as semantic search. 

Among the new AI features in this release, Claris has added the ability to create and store vector embeddings of our data using various LLM models in FileMaker. This is a very big deal. Think of vector embeddings like FileMaker field indexes. But unlike traditional text indexes, we are creating an index of ‘meaning’ with our data with the help of LLMs. This unlocks capabilities like Semantic Search, which is the concept of searching data based on similarity of meaning instead of similarity of text representation. 

In fact, with FileMaker 2024, Semantic Search (Perform Semantic Find) is now just a script step away–eliminating the need for external databases or storing data with third-party AI companies. We think this and other native AI capabilities in this release will pave the way for a lot of experimentation and discovery–it’ll help people unlock the potential of the data they already have.

Revert Transaction in Subscripts

This is the sleeper new feature in this release. It completes the new transaction feature we got back in FileMaker 19.6. You no longer have to pass errors back up to the transaction-controlling script to revert transactions. You can call Revert Transaction in any subscript, and it will immediately jump out to the Commit Transaction script step.

Complex scripting that involves database changes is so much easier now with transactions. You might find that the trade-off question flips. Instead of asking, “Does this scripted process require a transaction?” you may ask, “Can this script tolerate a transaction?” If it can, it will be easier. You can read more on this topic here.

Local Notifications

You can use this feature to pop up OS-level notifications that respect the computer’s settings for how those notifications should appear.

This feature has been available on FileMaker Go for a long time. It is now available on FileMaker Pro as well. It is not available on WebDirect.

Execute Data API Write Actions

Back when we developed the HTML Add-ons for FileMaker 19 along with Claris and iSolutions, we asked for a feature that would give us the ability to read data from any table in the file. This way, the add-ons we developed wouldn’t need to be directly connected to any particular table occurrence. They could work anywhere. Claris gave us the Execute Data API script, but it was read-only.

Now we get write operations. We can now read and write data without having to worry about the context of the relationship graph.

Quick Launch Enhancements

Command Bars or K-Bars are very popular these days. You have probably seen them in other apps. They provide quick access to things you might want to find or actions you might want to take by hitting a keyboard command, usually Command+K or Alt+K. A little palette pops up, and you can start typing to find what you need. Our free server add-on OttoFMS and the Ottomatic Cloud Console both have K-Bars.

Now your FileMaker apps can get K Bars too. You can use it to switch layouts, run common commands, and even run scripts or quickly edit scripts depending on your privileges.

New JSON Functions and Operators

There is a new JSONMakeArray function that takes a list and turns it into a JSON array. This is very useful and will replace a custom function that we had to maintain in all our solutions. There are also two new operators that make it easy to add an element to the end of the array and manipulate that last element.

Since we often build arrays from lists or by looping through records, these little changes will come in handy.

Let’s Encrypt Support on FileMaker Server

Let’s Encrypt is a widely adopted standard method for obtaining free SSL certificates for use with all kinds of servers. Claris has released the first iteration of support for Let’s Encrypt for FileMaker Server. As the makers of server add-ons and hosting platforms, we know all too well how challenging it can be to get proper SSL setup on your server. This is a welcome addition that should make this easier.

Admin API Updates

We can now update and configure FileMaker Server’s custom OAuth configuration using the Admin API. We like this one because it means that OttoFMS and the Ottomatic Cloud Console will be able to provide one-click configuration of custom OAuth. This tricky and tedious process can now be made simple.

FileMaker Developer Tool Enhancements

In FileMaker 20, Claris added a command-line tool that let us automate many functions that used to require FileMaker Pro, such as “Save As XML” and encrypting and decrypting FileMaker files. Now, we can also use that tool to rename sets of FileMaker files without breaking external file references.

This will enable us to build file renaming into our automated deployment features of OttoFMS. This will make it much easier for developers with Solution Bundle Agreement to do multi-tenant hosting or just have different files for development and production on the same server.

Stability Updates

Ok, this one is not really just one thing, but there were several bug fixes related to the stability of the platform. Overall, FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server should be more stable and recover better from events like forced disconnects and server crashes. Here are a few of the issues that were fixed:

  • Database server quit unexpectedly due to persistent cache size
  • Script Engine terminates abnormally if additional folder is invalid
  • WPE terminated abnormally when user sent to inaccessible layout
  • dbs_config.xml corruption after server unexpected shutdown
  • Files on Server required recovery after unexpected server shutdown when they weren’t damaged.

In Summary

Claris has continued to invest heavily in the FileMaker platform, delivering significant improvements in AI integration, developer tools, and overall stability. FileMaker 2024 not only enhances the user experience but also empowers developers and administrators with new capabilities and features that streamline their workflows and enhance their applications.

Check out FileMaker 2024 here, and sign up for the trial.